Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mt. Sneffels

One of the best things about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro was saying it: Kilimanjaro. The name is so full of mystery and adventure and romance...

Mt. Sneffels? Not so much!

But it is truly stunning. One month ago today we headed out on the girls' fifteenth 14er via the Blue Lakes ridge because, according to my Nicolas, the normal route is too boring. We were rewarded for that choice by surprising some gorgeous bighorn sheep who were spying on the crowded rock gully where everyone else was. 

The ridge vs. the loose rock route in the foreground

Both humans and sheep were thinking, "Whoa! Where'd you come from?"

Nice hair, Papa.

A little blowy on the col

My friend Atsushi - the one unfortunate enough to have been in the Landy with me when I rolled it in Namibia - bought me these boots 20 years ago. They're still my favourites.

Post-climb we headed to Ouray where we met up with the Grands for a wonderful evening
 before the following day's swim meet.

Yellow cap in the closest lane is Acacia doing the butterfly.

The girls have been asking if we're actually going to go anywhere interesting this summer... Hmmm...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fiery Skies

If a picture paints a thousand words, I wonder if those painted by the following pictures would include:

"Mom, put down the camera!"
"Really Mom? Ten shots?"
"Okay Kim, you can sit down now."

But it was so beautiful!

The only thing on fire was the sky itself. Perfect!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012


My first childhood memory is of my mother on fire. She was cooking dinner for her large family when the pan suddenly burst into flames. She raced outside to toss the pan into the winter garden, but when she did the flames jumped to her arms, melting the flesh as she rolled in the snow.

Fire freaks me out. Not candles or matches or campfires  - actually, my family singing around a campfire is one of my favourite memories. I mean fires that course with a ferocity matched only by Mother Nature's other temper tantrums: hurricanes... tsunamis... tornadoes...

When I saw footage of the Waldo Canyon fire cresting a mountain and tearing into a Colorado Springs neighborhood a few days ago, it made my arms tingle.

This is my friend's cousin's neighborhood, and the home at the bottom right was his.

Colorado is burning. Eight large fires peppered the state at the same time, including one in nearby Mancos that left my keyboard covered in ashes, the view hazy and the air thick. Dry lightening one evening sparked 120 new blazes, most of which were immediately put out except for Lightner Creek, where my friends stood hosing down their new house.

Meanwhile, over on the east coast, Tropical Storm Debby was drowning Florida and violent storms pummeled the Mid-Atlantic.

Madness, I tell you!

But even Mother Nature wants to look pretty when she's pissed off, and she used the smoke to paint some fabulous sunsets. Beauty in everything, right?